With the deaths of two elected officials in the Hudson Valley Sunday, a number of local leaders have been offering their sentiments. New York state Assemblyman Frank Skartados died at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer, while Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy died from ovarian cancer after a diagnosis two years ago.
On Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy:
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney: “Judy Kennedy and I shared a love for the City of Newburgh, and I saw her in action working every day to make Newburgh the City that its wonderful people deserve. Judy’s focus and tenacity empowered her to hold the city together through a financial crisis – and to come out the other side stronger. It was also her vision that has led to the reinvestment on Liberty Street and the City’s improving financial outlook.
“Judy's legacy, and the best way we can remember her, is to finish her work of making Newburgh an even better place to live, work and raise a family. As she said in her final statement to the City – we have to “rise together” if we’re going to achieve that goal. My heart goes out to Judy’s family, to her colleagues on the City Council, and to the entire Newburgh community in this difficult time. She will be missed.”
Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus: “Mayor Kennedy made a long-lasting impression on the City of Newburgh. She will be missed for her hard work, compassion and commitment to the residents of Newburgh. Mayor Kennedy fought cancer graciously and valiantly. I was saddened to hear about Judy’s passing and my thoughts and prayers are with her family.”
Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison: “There is a special camaraderie between Mayors in our region, and Mayor Kennedy’s passion for her city and its residents touched me personally. I first met Judy shortly after I was elected Mayor. No matter what challenge she faced, her energy and enthusiasm never wavered. In every conversation we had she would talk about all the good things happening in Newburgh. On behalf of all her friends here in Poughkeepsie, I offer our deepest condolences to her family and to the citizens of the City of Newburgh.”
On NYS Assemblyman Frank Skartados:
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney: “Frank Skartados leaves a proud legacy as a fighter for the people he loved and a voice for many who had none. It’s been my honor to serve alongside him all these years. Frank is now at peace and we should pray for his family and be grateful for his life of service to us all. Frank came to America as a young man, worked to pay his way through school, built a business, and won election to represent his neighbors in the State House. If that’s not the American Dream, I don’t know what is.”
NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie: “It is with profound sadness that I join my colleagues in mourning the loss of Assemblymember Frank K. Skartados. Frank was a devoted public servant to the Hudson Valley for nearly 10 years.
As a businessman and a former educator, he fought tirelessly to create jobs, support businesses and working families, and improve educational opportunities for New York’s children. He devoted his life to improving communities in the Hudson Valley, including a transformative revitalization project for downtown Poughkeepsie.
As an immigrant, a businessman, a farmer and a father, he truly embodied all of the qualities that make New York a great place to call home.
On behalf of all the members of the Assembly, I offer his loved ones our deepest sympathies and comfort during this difficult time. We are thankful for the opportunity to have called him a friend and a colleague. May he rest in peace.”
NYS Assemblymember Kevin Cahill: “Assemblyman Frank Skartados was a shining example of the classic American immigrant story. A farmer, businessman and civic leader, he carried his American citizenship with great honor, but equally proud of his Greek roots. In a district that included parts of three different counties, Frank did not show favoritism. He represented each of with equal fervor.
NYS Senator Sue Serino: “Our community has lost a truly remarkable advocate and public servant. Assemblyman Frank Skartados has long been a strong voice for our local community, and he has been a valuable partner in the Legislature, fighting for causes that would directly benefit our local area. My heart goes out to his loved ones and to the dedicated team who has worked alongside him for years. May we come together today to honor the legacy of a man who worked tirelessly to always put our community first.”
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro: “We mourn the loss of gentleman, pillar of service and fighter for the people - New York State Assemblymember Frank Skartados. Always dedicated public servant, his work positively impacted the lives of those he served. The thoughts and prayers of a grateful community are with Frank and his family today.”
Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison: “The City of Poughkeepsie has lost a true champion of our community and a tireless advocate for common-sense and important legislation designed to improve our quality of life. Frank lived his life asking every day what he could do to help others. He represented the best of New York politics because he brought people of different views together to solve real problems. His impact on our City will be seen and felt for many years and we will miss him tremendously.”
Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus: “I had the pleasure of working alongside Assemblyman Skartados for several years. He worked hard for his constituents in what is a very diverse district and was well-liked by his peers. Assemblyman Skartados was a true gentleman and my thoughts and prayers are with his family.”